News / Middle East

VOA Interview: Egypt Presidential Hopeful Outlines Vision

Egyptian presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh (file photo)
Egyptian presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh (file photo)
Mohamed Elshinnawi
Egyptian presidential hopeful Dr. Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh is a practicing physician with extensive experience in international relief work. A former leading figure of the Muslim Brotherhood, he is also a prominent Islamic activist. Known for his relatively liberal positions on social issues, he is supported by young Islamists, liberals and even Egypt's Copts.  (You can listen to the full podcast in Arabic here.)

Elshinnawi: If you are elected president, what will priorities will you set for your first 100 days in office?

Aboul Fotouh: Restoring security and stability would be my number one priority because the current laxity in security is a remnant of the Mubarak regime. His police officials are abusing their authority in order to spread instability. Tight security is crucial to restarting our economy and attracting and maintaining the flow of investment.

Elshinnawi: There is one looming challenge for the new president--the sentencing of former President Mubarak, scheduled for June 2nd. If he is acquitted and you are the elected president, what will you do?

Aboul Fotouh: While I respect court rulings, it is a well-known fact that the trials of members of the deposed regime have lacked the cooperation of the executive branch in terms of providing prosecutors and investigators with documents necessary for justice to prevail. So I will not hesitate to order a retrial of Mubarak and his associates. The new trial would take place within a new rule of law to ensure that the judiciary is completely independent from the executive branch.

Elshinnawi: Your platform calls for transforming the Egyptian economy into one of the world's top 20 economies by 2020. How would you be able fulfill that promise, given the ailing state of the Egyptian economy?

Aboul Fotouh: Egypt's economy will never collapse. In the medium range, we will be able to rejuvenate the economy by opening the door to Egyptian, Arab and foreign investment. I have met with many investors, and they have assured me that they are just waiting for the environment to stabilize before resuming their investments in Egypt. They realize that a trusted and elected leadership will pave the way for realizing the great potential of the Egyptian economy.

Elshinnawi: Social justice is a major goal of the Egyptian revolution, but it requires huge resources to achieve. How would you deal with that issue?

Aboul Fotouh: I would work to achieve that goal gradually, starting with two huge projects to provide quality education and healthcare, as well as make improvements to the infrastructure in poorer areas. While Egypt will continue to have a free economy, with private sector comprising 75 percent of all economic activity, the state has to ensure social justice by securing minimum income and providing job opportunities.

Elshinnawi: What role you envision for Egyptian expatriates in rebuilding Egypt?

Aboul Fotouh: We now have about 8 million Egyptians living abroad. We trust their loyalty and love for their homeland. Most of these Egyptians left the country because they were fleeing 30 years of an authoritarian regime and its corruption. Now they can contribute to rebuilding a post-revolutionary Egypt either through their technical skill or investment.

Elshinnawi: You have promised to make the Egyptian army the strongest in the region. Would you maintain the army's economy as it has been running--apart from the general budget?

Aboul Fotouh: Nothing would operate outside the state budget. Anything that currently falls outside the budget will be brought back into it, because my platform calls for budget unity. All national resources will be subjected to scrutiny and auditing. That would not contradict our keen interest in supporting a strong professional army to protect our homeland and secure our development.

Elshinnawi: Some still consider you a candidate for the Muslim Brotherhood and fear if they were to vote for you, Egypt would end up being controlled by an Islamist parliament, government and an Islamist president. What would you say to them?

Aboul Fotouh: There is no problem in having a Muslim Brotherhood candidate, but as I announced from day one, I am running as an independent candidate, representing all Egyptians. I chose to be independent to serve the whole country, as opposed to representing a single party or a single group. Now, we see that the Muslim Brotherhood has fielded a second candidate after their first choice was disqualified. So no one can claim that I am the Muslim Brotherhood candidate.

Elshinnawi: Some Islamists are calling for changing the constitution to implement Islamic law. Do you agree with them?

Aboul Fotouh: Nothing needs to be changed. Article Two of the constitution stipulates that Islamic law is the major source for legislation. That notion is still widely supported by all and would not be touched. Egypt has been a civil--not a theocratic--state for 15 centuries and will be a modern democratic state that respects Islamic law as a reference for legislation under the auspices of the High Constitutional Court.

Elshinnawi: Some presidential candidates have pledged to reconsider the Camp David accords or renegotiate some of its articles. What are your thoughts?

Aboul Fotouh: This treaty needs and deserves reconsideration. The elected parliament should review and reconsider the Camp David agreement, because some of its articles encroach on Egyptian national security and interests.

Elshinnawi: U.S. – Egyptian relations are considered important to both countries. During Mubarak’s era, that relationship entailed strategic cooperation. How do you see the future of Egypt’s relationship with the U.S.?

Aboul Fotouh: We are keen to have good relations with the U.S., but we need to reformulate that relationship in order to secure Egypt’s interests and prevent Egypt from being a satellite state. As for strategic cooperation, it is a term that was coined to, in essence, make Egypt a satellite state in the U.S. policy orbit, at the expense of Egypt’s interests. We will not allow that to be the case with any country. Instead, our relations would be based on common interests and mutual respect.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: ADEL ALSHEAR from: OSLO NORWAY
May 18, 2012 3:19 AM
THISIS ABW ALFTWH IS ONE THE LEDEAR GROUP ALGMAAAH ALASLAMEH THE GROUP HAVE IN ABW ALFTWH WITH ALTHWHRI . THIS IS BECOME START GROUP ALGMAAH ALSLAMEH AS GROUP IN BY TIME EX POLITIC LAND OF FRO THE MR MHM DHSNI MBARK AND TIME EX POLITIC LAND OF FRO MR MHMD ANWR ALSTAT GROUP POLITIC 23TH07TH1952TH THE GROUP HAVE GMAL ABD ALNASR ALLTHI WITH ZKREA MHE ALDEN AWITH KHALD MHI ALDEN WITH . THIS IS WAY NOW AS THE COMWITHOUT ALL GROUP ALGMAAH ALASLAMEHGROUP ABW ALFTWH ANDALTHWHRI .

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid